There have been murmurs of an Asus Eee Reader for a while, but now the company is outlining its vision of the e-reader future. That future looks cheap, hinged and in full color, if the company can nail all of its goals.
That would mean that Asus's Eee Reader would handle more like a book, and allow for more complex layouts than what's currently on the Kindle or Sony's e-reader. The offering from Asus will also be quite a bit cheaper as the company is aiming for a price of $164. All by the end of the year.
The company spoke to the Times of London, which reports:
Unlike current ebook readers, which take the form of a single flat screen, the Asus device has a hinged spine, like a printed book. This, in theory, enables its owner to read an ebook much like a normal book, using the touchscreen to "turn" the pages from one screen to the next. It also gives the user the option of seeing the text on one screen while browsing a web page on the other. One of the screens could also act as a virtual keypad for the device to be used like a laptop. Whereas current ebook readers have monochrome screens, the Asus would be full colour. The maker says it may also feature "speakers, a webcam and a mic for Skype", allowing cheap phone calls over the internet.
So, an Eee Reader... Phone? Asus is planning two versions — budget and premium models — but we'll all have to wait and see what will differentiate the two.
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